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You can have a surgical abortion between the 4th and 16th week of your pregnancy. After an initial consultation, you will return for one of the three outpatient surgical procedures appropriate to the length of your pregnancy and your health history.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration
The earliest abortion option can take place as early as 4 weeks following the first day of your last menstrual period. Many patients prefer to end their pregnancy as soon as possible. MVA (manual vacuum aspiration), known as the “quiet abortion,” is often used in these early procedures. Instead of using a machine with electric-powered suction, this type of procedure utilizes suction from a syringe-like device.
Electric Vacuum Aspiration
Electric vacuum aspiration abortion is performed between 7 and 12 weeks after your last menstrual period. This safe and simple procedure, which takes about 3 to 5 minutes, is the most commonly performed abortion in the United States. This method requires the use of an electric-powered suction machine.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
The third procedure, for women in their second trimester (those who are between 12 and 16 weeks pregnant), is called a D&E. For this procedure, your cervix must be softened or dilated by one of two methods: (1) insertion of osmotic dilators or (2) use of a medication to soften the cervix. A clinician will review your ultrasound and medical history and then give you information and instructions for the safest dilation method for you. The abortion procedure includes electric vacuum aspiration and the use of surgical instruments.